The CRC is to establish a management study in the Victoria River
District, Northern Territory, which will principally address fire
management and grazing management.
A scoping workshop held on May 2 1997, at the Tropical Ecosystems
Research Centre in Darwin to explore ways of setting up the study.
The initial list of potential case study regions included the
Victoria River District (VRD), the Douglas Daly (DD), the East
Kimberley and the Lower Ord, Arnhem Land and the Arafura Catchment,
the Upper Katherine and the Sturt Plateau.
This list was then reduced to the VRD and the DD, on the basis,
among other factors, of the level of existing CRC activity within
these regions. While workshop participants agreed that the VRD
would be the core region for the management study, for some issues,
such as regional fire impacts, the boundaries could be broadened to
include other areas such as the East Kimberly. It was also agreed
that if some CRC participants were interested in evaluating land
use allocation issues, then the DD region could be considered for a
subsequent CRC management study.
Organised by Graham Kirby and John Ludwig and facilitated by Mark
Stafford Smith, the workshop identified a large number of potential
stakeholders for the study. These included: Aboriginal interests,
including both land and community councils; conservation interests,
including 'on-reserve' and 'off-reserve' parties; defence forces,
particularly those using large training grounds; pastoralists, of
both Aboriginal and European origin, education providers; Federal
and Territory government Agencies and Departments; and tourism,
including both small and large operators out of local and regional
Although it was emphasised that the final selection of specific
issues to be addressed by the case study will require active
stakeholder participation, two main areas were identified study's
Research on fire management in the VRD will include questions such
as how does the diversity of invertebrate, vertebrate and plant
taxa respond to fires of differing frequencies in different savanna
types, and also how does fire impact on plant production in the
long-term, in different savanna types.
Secondly, research on grazing management will include questions
similar to those above, such as how does grazing intensity over the
long-term impact on the diversity of various taxa.
CRC participants were: Alan Andersen, Rod Applegate, James Binney,
Andy Chapman, Gordon Duff, Derek Eamus, Valerie Haistova, Lindsay
Hutley, Bob Karfs, Barbie McKaige, Shiw Murti, Jeremy
Russell-Smith, Sam Setterfield, Ram Vemuri, Dick Williams and John